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J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs > Volume 33(2); 2024 > Article
Journal of Korean Academy of psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 2024;33(2):113-123.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.12934/jkpmhn.2024.33.2.113    Published online June 30, 2024.
Role Identities of Activists with Mental Disorders in South Korea: A Qualitative Descriptive Study
Jan Di Kim1  , Sungjae Kim2  , Jaewon Joung3 
1Instrutor, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
2Professor Emeritus, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
3Associate Professor, College of Nursing ‧ Research Institute of Nursing Science, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea
Correspondence:  Jaewon Joung, Tel: +82-63-270-3126, Fax: +82-63-270-3127, 
Email: woni@jbnu.ac.kr
Received: 13 March 2024   • Revised: 29 May 2024   • Accepted: 18 June 2024
The psychiatric survivors movement, which represents people with mental disorders (PWMD), recognizes the autonomy of PWMD activists and emphasizes peer support and advocacy. However, in South Korea, where this movement is still in its early stages, the activities associated with it are not clearly defined. This paper aims to explore the role identities of PWMD activists and examine their significance.
We conducted one or two in-depth interviews with 12 PWMD activists to gather data. The interviews were designed to uncover the participants’ perspectives on their roles as PWMD activists and their understanding of these roles. Thematic analysis was used to identify common themes.
The overall theme that emerged from the role identities of PWMD activists was “one who publicly advocates for the rights of the group while leading colleagues towards personal growth and societal change.” Within this overarching theme, three sub-themes were identified: intrapersonal, interpersonal, and socio-political aspects. In total, we identified 10 sub-themes.
Our findings can inform the development of various activities that support the recovery of PWMD, enabling them to assist their peers and advocate for their future interests, while also ensuring that their roles are reflected in policies.
Key Words: Mental disorders; Peer group; Psychiatric rehabilitation; Role
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